The Islands Agricultural Show (IAS) is coming to Cowichan Exhibition Park in Duncan on Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3. The IAS is the only agricultural trade show serving the farm and food community on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Gulf Islands, and it is the second-largest agriculture show in British Columbia. It provides a venue for farmers, rural landowners, farm organizations, equipment dealers, service providers and the general public to learn, connect and engage with the local agricultural industry. The show attracts a broad range of farmers, including both established commercial producers as well as new farmers, who engage with exhibitors to provide demonstrations, products and services. The theme for this year’s show, Necessity is the Mother of Innovation, emphasizes the need for innovative and sustainable farming practices to address the climate crises.
The IAS consists of both a trade show featuring over 60 local exhibitors and a conference featuring educational workshops relating to current events in the agriculture industry. Tickets for the trade show are $5 and can be purchased on-site. Tickets for the conference are $25 and include entry into the tradeshow, and need to be purchased online.
The keynote speakers at the conference are Chris Grainger, Director Lending Product and Sustainability Programs, Farm Credit Canada and Jared (Qwustenuxun) Williams, Indigenous Cultural Educator. Grainger will be speaking about how lenders are working with farmers on sustainability initiatives, and Williams will give a presentation on Indigenous food systems and eating locally and seasonally to reduce reliance on agricultural inputs and food transportation.
This years conference sessions are on the following topics:
- Regenerative soil management, soil health indicators, soil-microbiome, and compost
- Integrated rat management and local geese management strategies
- Sheep nutrition, health, and wool as a secondary product for income
- Irrigation system efficiency and strategies to effectively forage and horticulture crops in a changing climate
- Hedgerow design for pollinators and pest control
- Research on nitrogen management & low-emissions manure spreading technologies, and an update on a new Phosphorus Index tool being developed.
- A hands-on workshop on record keeping basics, using records to calculate cost of production by enterprise, and cash flow scenarios
- Farmer mental wellness and self-maintenance
- On-farm meat processing and regulations
- Crop cultivation, equipment, and marketing opportunities
For more information on the conference sessions you can view the Conference Session Program. You can also reach out to email@example.com for questions relating to the conference sessions, and the Shari Paterson, firstname.lastname@example.org, for questions relating to the trade show.
The CVRD is proud to continue to support the Show this year as a Gold Sponsor and Community Partner!